Australian Federal Police

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Australian Federal Police
Abbreviation AFP
Australian Federal Police.png
Patch of the Australian Federal Police
AustralianFederalPoliceFlag.png
Flag of the Australian Federal Police
Agency overview
Formed 1979; 38 years ago (1979)
Preceding agencies
Employees 6,598 (30 June 2008)[1]
Volunteers Small numbers for non-operations related activity.
Annual budget A$1.8 billion (2010–11)[2]
Legal personality Governmental: Government agency
Jurisdictional structure
Federal agency Australia
Constituting instrument Australian Federal Police Act 1979
General nature
Operational structure
Headquarters Edmund Barton Building, Canberra
Sworn members 2,855 (30 June 2008)[1]
Unsworn members 2,402 (30 June 2008)[1]
Minister responsible Hon. Michael Keenan MP, Minister for Justice
Agency executive Andrew Colvin, Commissioner
Functions
Offices
Website
http://www.afp.gov.au/
Footnotes
The Australian Federal Police, while a federal agency, provides policing to dependent Australian on and offshore Commonwealth Territories.
Former Australian Federal Police Headquarters

The Australian Federal Police (AFP) is the principal federal law enforcement agency of the Australian Government with a unique role to investigate crime and to protect the national security of the Commonwealth of Australia. The AFP an agency of the Attorney-General's Department and is responsible to the Minister for Justice.[3] Since October 2014 the Commissioner of the Australian Federal Police has been Andrew Colvin.[4]

The AFP has a focus on preventing, investigating and disrupting transnational, serious, complex and organised crime including terrorism and violent extremism, cybercrime, child exploitation, drug smuggling, and human trafficking. The AFP is also responsible for delivering community policing in the Australian Capital Territory through ACT Policing and to other dependent territories, providing protective security in major airports and close protection for dignities including the Prime Minister of Australia and foreign diplomatic missions, delivering law enforcement training for Asia-Pacific partner agencies, acting as Australia's international law enforcement and policing representative, and contributing to United Nations peacekeeping around the world. The AFP is also a member of the National Intelligence Community and works closely with the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation, the Australian Border Force, and the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission.

History

The AFP was formed on 19 October 1979 under the Australian Federal Police Act 1979[5] after the merging of the former Commonwealth Police and the Australian Capital Territory Police. This followed a review of Australia's anti-terrorism capacity by Sir Robert Mark, former Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police in the UK, which was commissioned by the Fraser Government following the 1978 Hilton bombing. In November 1979, the Federal Narcotics Bureau was transferred to the new agency.[6] In 1984 the protective service component of the AFP was separated forming the Australian Protective Service under the administrative service and later governed by Attorney-General's Department; that agency was transferred back to the AFP in 2004 and is now known as Australian Federal Police Uniform Protection.

Oversight

The AFP is overseen by the Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity and the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Law Enforcement.[citation needed]

Roles and functions

The AFP's role is to enforce Australian criminal law, contribute to combating complex, transnational, serious and organised crime impacting Australia's national security and to protect Commonwealth interests from criminal activity in Australia and overseas.

The AFP is responsible to the Minister for Justice, a ministerial position outside the federal cabinet and subordinate to the Attorney-General. Key priorities of the AFP are set by the Minister for Justice, through a "ministerial direction" issued under the Australian Federal Police Act 1979. [7] Areas of operational emphasis include:

  • investigating complex, transnational, serious and organised crime
  • protecting Australians and Australian interests from terrorism and violent extremism
  • representing Australian police and law enforcement on an international level
  • developing unique capabilities and exploiting advanced technology to support Australia's national interests.

Continued responsibilities include providing:

National operations

Federal agents are based in each Australian state and territory capital city, internationally and form the largest component of the AFP staff, federal agents chiefly perform criminal investigative duties.

Current areas of focus for the AFP:

The AFP hosts a National Missing Persons Coordination Unit, the Australian Interpol National Central Bureau, and the Australian Bomb Data Centre.

Members of the AFP outside the ACT and other federal territory do not exercise the powers, obligations and liabilities of a constable at common law. Consequently, they are identified by each state as federal agents; that is, a member of a law enforcement agency, not a police service.

Assault rifle-armed AFP officers are situated in both chambers of the Australian Parliament as of 2015. It is the first time in Australian history that parliament has been guarded by armed personnel.[8]

Community policing

A traffic operations vehicle, with traffic operations and other officers in ceremonial dress at the 2008 national Anzac Day service at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra.

The AFP provides community policing services to the ACT, under a contractual agreement between the Australian Government and the ACT government. This AFP portfolio, ACT Policing, is the successor of the ACT Police, one of the agencies that was merged to form the AFP in 1979. The mission of ACT Policing is to keep the peace and preserve public safety for the residents of the ACT. Key sections of ACT Policing include general duties, crime and safety management, criminal investigations, crime prevention, traffic operations and criminal intelligence. The head of ACT Policing is known as the chief police officer of the ACT.

The AFP provides community policing and counter terrorism first response duties at major Australian airports, and community policing in the Jervis Bay territory and in the external Australian territories of Norfolk Island, Christmas Island, and the Cocos Islands. The AFP provides a mix of United Nations peacekeeping, community policing and capacity development roles and services in a number of nations.[citation needed]

Uniform protection

AFP providing uniform protection outside the Swedish Embassy in Canberra, Australia

AFP uniform protection provides physical protection for the Australian government at key locations throughout Australia and internationally. Uniform protection officers are firearms and defensive tactics trained, and perform duties which include armed escorts, bomb appraisals, bomb detection canines, visitor control, static guarding, alarm monitoring and response, mobile, foot and bicycle patrols, maintain civil order, security consultancy services, counter-terrorism first response at many Commonwealth establishments. Uniform protection officers have powers under Section 14 of the AFP Act 1979 to arrest, stop, search, and request identification in their jurisdiction. Uniform protection officers undertake an essential role in protecting Australia's critical infrastructure and assist in providing protection for Australian high office holders, diplomatic, consular personnel and other foreign nationals.

Uniform protection officers providing an armed uniform capability are located at federal establishments including Parliament House in Canberra; the residences of the prime minister and governor-general; foreign embassies and consulates in Canberra, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth; the Australian Nuclear Scientific Technology Organisation installation, Joint defence facilities such as the Australian Defence Force Headquarters in Canberra, Holsworthy Barracks, Garden Island Naval Base, Victoria Barracks, the Pine Gap US defence installation, and sensitive covert locations in Australia and internationally.

International peacekeeping

Since its inception, the AFP has had a long tradition of involvement in international peacekeeping, policing and capacity development. International Deployment Group (IDG) is an AFP portfolio that has increased rapidly in a short time since its inception in 2004. Since 1964, Australia has contributed police officers to the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus. AFP officers have also previously served with the United Nations in East Timor (Timor Leste) and South Sudan.

In recent years, Australian government efforts to assist neighbouring and remote countries with institutional capacity building has led to AFP deployments to Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands (Under the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands), Timor-Leste (Under the Timor-Leste Police Development Program TLPDP), Nauru, Tonga, Vanuatu, Afghanistan, Samoa and Vanuatu. Previous peacekeeping missions have included Haiti, Mozambique, Thailand, Namibia, and Somalia.

IDG uses the Specialist Response Group for particular medium and high risk planned operations or emergency incidents in addition to assisting with capacity building and force protection operations.

Ceremonial and protocol

The AFP Ceremonial Team conducts and participates in a variety of police and community functions and ceremonies.

Ceremonial events include the annual National Police Remembrance Day Service at the National Police Memorial in Canberra on 29 September, medal presentations, parades, police funerals, memorial services, official opening of police stations and policing facilities, AFP pipes and drums concerts, inauguration events and public relations events

The Ceremonial Team coordinates the AFP Ceremonial and Protocol Officer (CAPO) Network, the AFP Ceremonial Mounted Cadre and the AFP Pipes and Drums to perform ceremonial duties at these functions and ceremonies.

The AFP Ceremonial Mounted Cadre was raised on 29 September 2006 at the dedication of the National Police Memorial. The ceremonial uniform comprises linkages to former mounted policing units of the AFP's predecessor organisations, namely the Commonwealth Police and the Peace Officer guard, as well as mounted policing units from the NSW Police Force which patrolled the geographic area of the ACT.

The AFP Ceremonial and Protocol team currently provide drill instructor accreditation for both the AFP and the NSW Police Force, and ceremonial and protocol officer accreditation for all of Australia's policing jurisdictions.

International liaison

The AFP has an international network to assist with inquiries and liaison with police agencies around the world. The AFP represents Australian state/ territory police agencies internationally. AFP's International Liaison Officer Network has 85 AFP appointees in 30 countries around the world. AFP International Liaison Officers are the Australian Government's law enforcement representatives overseas.[9]

Structure

Joint Counter Terrorism Teams

The Joint Counter Terrorism Teams (JCTTs) in each state and territory jurisdiction consisting of AFP, state and territory police, and Australian Security Intelligence Organisation officers. JCTTs conduct investigations to prevent and disrupt terrorism and violent extremism. The JCTT model can be seen as the Australian version of the United States' Joint Terrorism Task Force, Canada's Integrated National Security Enforcement Teams, and the United Kingdom's National Counter Terrorism Policing Network. [10]

Australian Bomb Data Centre

The Australian Bomb Data Centre (ABDC) is Australia's primary source of information and intelligence relating to the unlawful use of explosives. The ABDC officially began operations on 1 July 1978, and it is therefore one of the oldest bomb data centres in the world. The ABDC provides statistical reporting on all explosive incidents reported to the Centre by Australian policing and military agencies. This includes any minor incidents or acts of vandalism reported by the relevant agency. The ABDC is concerned both with criminals who use explosives for their own benefit and with those who use explosives and bombs for terrorism. It maintains records of all bomb-related incidents reported to it, regardless of design, target or motive. The ABDC is staffed by members of the AFP as well as members of the Australian Defence Force.[11][12]

Australian High Tech Crime Centre

The Australian High Tech Crime Centre (AHTCC) is a national cybercrime and cybersecurity initiative located within the AFP with staff also from the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation and Australian Signals Directorate. The primary role of the AHTCC is to coordinate the efforts of Australian law enforcement in combating serious, complex and multi-jurisdictional high tech crimes, especially those beyond the capability of single policing jurisdictions in Australia. Secondary roles include protecting the information infrastructure of Australia, and providing information to other law enforcement to help combat online crime.[citation needed]

Australian Federal Police College

The Australian Federal Police College is the training facility for the force. The college's residential area was home to then Prime Minister Tony Abbott when he was in Canberra as the Lodge was undergoing renovations.[13]

Commissioners

The senior AFP officer is the Commissioner of Police, appointed under Section 17 of the Australian Federal Police Act 1979.

Rank Name Post-nominals Term began Term ended Time in appointment
Commissioner of the AFP
Commissioner Sir Colin Woods KCVO, CBE, QPM 1 August 1979 1 January 1982 2 years, 74 days
Commissioner (Major General) Ronald Grey AO, DSO 1 January 1982 30 November 1988 6 years, 334 days
Commissioner Peter McAulay AO, QPM 30 November 1988 1 June 1994 5 years, 183 days
Commissioner Michael Palmer AO, APM 1 June 1994 2 April 2001 6 years, 335 days
Commissioner Mick Keelty AO, APM 2 April 2001 2 September 2009 8 years, 123 days
Commissioner Tony Negus APM 7 September 2009 30 September 2014 5 years, 23 days
Commissioner Andrew Colvin APM, OAM 30 September 2014 Incumbent 2 years, 387 days

Ranks

AFP members performing duties in ACT Policing, External Territories, Aviation, International Deployment Group (mission component) use uniform and community policing ranks. All other members use the title Federal Agent. Where applicable qualified members are also entitled to use Detective designation.

AFP Commissioner's Order 1 (Administration) states that every AFP Member holds a rank (as detailed below), with the corresponding title and role adopted.

Uniform and Community Policing Rank/Title Broadband Rank Role National Operations Title
Constable/First Constable/Senior Constable/Leading Senior Constable Constable Team Member Federal Agent, Team Member
Sergeant/Station Sergeant Sergeant Team Leader Federal Agent, Team Leader
Superintendent Superintendent Coordinator Federal Agent, Coordinator
Commander Commander Manager Commander, Manager
Assistant Commissioner Assistant Commissioner National Manager Assistant Commissioner, National Manager
Deputy Commissioner Deputy Commissioner Deputy Commissioner Deputy Commissioner
Commissioner Commissioner Commissioner Commissioner

First Constable is a reflection of four years of service as a Member. Senior Constable is a reflection of six years of service as a Member

Criticisms

Haneef Affair

On 2 July 2007 Muhamed Haneef was arrested and held by the AFP for terror-related incidents. It was the longest detention without charge under recent anti-terror laws and was found to be unjustified.

Martens Conviction

In October 2006 a Cairns jury convicted pilot Frederic Arthur Martens under sex tourism laws of having intercourse with a 14-year-old girl in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. However, Martins was not in Port Moresby at the time, and flight records could prove this. The AFP refused to retrieve those records despite numerous requests, and Martins could not retrieve them as he was in jail. When the records were eventually retrieved by Martins' partner the convictions were quashed, with strong criticism of the AFP by Justice Chesterman. The AFP also froze all of Martin's funds while he was in custody, which prevented treatment for his daughter in Port Moresby who died as a result.[14]

The Bali Nine

The AFP were contacted by a member of the Bali Nine drug courier gang's father, and they said they would keep a watch on him. They could not stop them traveling to Indonesia to smuggle drugs. Instead, they contacted the Indonesian Police which led to their arrest in Indonesia rather than when returning to Australia. The leaders of the gang Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran were executed on 29 April 2015. [15]

Harun Causevic

Over 200 heavily armed police conducted raids at 3am at various houses in Victoria on 19 April 2015, and then held Harun Causevic on a Preventative Detention Order (PDO), before charging him with terrorist offences.[16] Victorian premier Daniel Andrews said this was the first time a PDO had been used, and validated their importance.[17]

However, after Causevic spent three months in jail awaiting trial the federal police decided to drop the terrorism charges. [18] Causevic's defense lawyer, Rob Stary, said there was never any real evidence against Causevic, and that this eroded confidence in the authorities. He was also critical of the earlier "grandstanding" of Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Premier Daniel Andrews. [19]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 10 July 2009. Retrieved 2011-03-31.  Australian Federal Police Annual Report 2007–08 Appendix 4
  2. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 26 December 2010. Retrieved 2011-01-28.  Australian Federal Police Budget Report 2010–11
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 3 September 2009. Retrieved 2009-09-01.  Our organisation
  4. ^ Negus to be sworn in as top cop, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 7 September 2009.
  5. ^ AFP governance framework Archived 29 August 2007 at the Wayback Machine.
  6. ^ National Archives of Australia, Documenting a Democracy, Australian Government, archived from the original on 16 July 2005 
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 21 October 2009. Retrieved 2009-09-01. 
  8. ^ Massola, James (9 February 2015). "Armed guards now stationed to protect Australian MPs and senators in both chambers of Federal Parliament". smh.com.au. Retrieved 20 December 2016. 
  9. ^ "International network". www.afp.gov.au. Archived from the original on 5 March 2016. 
  10. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-12-28. Retrieved 2015-01-02.  AFP fighting terrorism information
  11. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-01-02. Retrieved 2015-01-02.  Australian Bomb Data Centre
  12. ^ [1] Australian Federal Police Australian Bomb Data Centre 2011 Strategic Intelligence Report, Annual Statistics Report, and Five Year Summary
  13. ^ Hurst, Daniel. "Tony Abbott opts for modest lodgings". smh.com.au. Retrieved 20 December 2016. 
  14. ^ "AFP blasted over rape evidence". theaustralian.com.au. 13 November 2009. Retrieved 20 December 2016. 
  15. ^ "Bali nine executions: AFP defends its role in arrests". 
  16. ^ "Victorian police granted order to hold man without charge following Melbourne raids". 
  17. ^ Alcorn, Gay (20 April 2015). "Victoria police defend force used during terrorist raids despite claims of injury". The Guardian. Retrieved 21 December 2016. 
  18. ^ "Federal police drop Anzac Day terrorism charges against Harun Causevic". 
  19. ^ "'Terrible injustice': Lawyer calls for apology for teen terror accused Harun Causevic". 

External links

  • Australian Federal Police
  • Australian Federal Police Commissioner, Canberra
  • Australian Federal Police Act 1979
  • ACT Policing
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